A bit of gossip about TC...

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Bok
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:35 am

Some fun about our old abandoned forum... seems Adagio is getting desperate, creating fake users themselves to push their sales: A new so called communiTea event, where people supposedly get sent samples and talk about it – just that everyone commenting just has one post and signed off on the same 1-3 days. The first one even having a remarkably similar avatar picture to the thread opener and apparently new marketing person... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Youzi
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:45 am

Bok wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:35 am
Some fun about our old abandoned forum... seems Adagio is getting desperate, creating fake users themselves to push their sales: A new so called communiTea event, where people supposedly get sent samples and talk about it – just that everyone commenting just has one post and signed off on the same 1-3 days. The first one even having a remarkably similar avatar picture to the thread opener and apparently new marketing person... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
What was the original reason everyone left Teachat btw?
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Bok
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:03 am

@Youzi in short: censorship, random deletion of whole threads and banning of users who dared to speak up about what was happening. All mostly without warning or reasonable explanation.
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Youzi
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:41 am

Bok wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:03 am
Youzi in short: censorship, random deletion of whole threads and banning of users who dared to speak up about what was happening. All mostly without warning or reasonable explanation.
Censorship regarding what? Adagio Teas?
John_B
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:59 am

It's pretty bad. Holding a giveaway and doctoring up some results seems par for the course, but the responses sound way too much like bots:

https://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 5b#p303475

I was surprised and pleased to receive my invitation to join communiTEA with my lastest order from this great company. :D

Much to my surprise, I am enjoying the first cup which is labeled January 12th a black tea. I am not a fan of black teas because I don't care for a strong taste but there seems to be a smoothness to this one and I can taste the wonderful smell of almonds that I experienced when I opened the package.



The nice thing about Adagio related to Tea Chat was that they didn't use it to push their teas. More marketing and promotion done in the right way would've worked. Forums in general tend to go off the rails after awhile; it had it coming.
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aet
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:52 am

Once you build up a certain traffic on your website ( I'm talking generally ) , it is understandable that you will try to make some money of it.Especially if you have to look after / moderate site ( spams, censoring from very bad inputs, updating for security protection.....etc. )
If your original business behind it doesn't perform as you think it could / should, then naturally you will go harder on marketing. Most of the tea forums I know are set by tea vendors or those people eventually become a tea-vendor , just because great opportunity is there ( if you have a huge tea drinking audience on you door step already ).
Some groups on FB are also set ( admin ) by tea vendor or very close friend of some tea vendor , which reflects also certain behavior when others try to post something not suitable to their marketing environment.
There is even website which is set as an independent tea review / blog where you can register your shop and post some comments to their blog / articles. They offer opportunity to review your samples which you can send and I was nearly about to do it. But I've have found out that the owner also sells the tea from HK under different business name.
What I'm trying to say here is that Tea business...is the Business ...and can be cheeky as any other business.
Successful tea vendor doesn't need to create fake accounts on forums, doesn't need to pay google adds to be on top page , doesn't need to spam links every where..and so on.
Some big vendors need to pay salaries to their staffs or rent of the shop in some expensive area, so they are under pressure. You would be surprised that even most famous vendors have this pressure last few years. More competition around , especially form China where many small tea vendors trying to sell on IG, FB or other platforms.
In next few years , those vendors will have to either go more aggressive on marketing or reduce the costs ( staffs, products ).
The dying teachat forum ,same as steepster , have apart of the their own reasons ( teachat - commercial , steepster - spammed and abandoned by owner ) also the problem with FB.
It is very conformable for everyone who has a FB account , since they are scrolling trough their wall , no problem to join some tea group and chat there ( more convenient )
People generally don't want to jump from one app / website to another . Keep checking few different accounts everyday if something new has showed up.
If I wasn't vendor, I would be off the FB long time ago. First year in China I was out , many of my mates thought I died ;-) , and was incredible experience. Felt like back in 90's.
Oh, btw, successful vendor is busy and have no time to troll on forums..yep , I'm not busy right now ;-DDD
I must say, from all tea forums I'm in, I enjoy this one the most , although the community is small. Just have a 3 wishes :
1. community gets bigger here
2. more innovations like tea tasting DB linked to tea vendors list , maybe an phone app , or other functions I cant recall right now
2. forum never goes commercial the way T-chat has
I understand that some money should be made by running this show here, so I wouldn't blame the owner putting some side banner with google or private tea business adds for that.
I believe that tea community need some ultimate and independent tea forum . I know, might sound not realistic for the reason I have mentioned at the beginning, but I hope.
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Bok
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:12 am

There is another dimension to this. Teachat actually had volunteer mods who put a lot of private time and effort in to make it a well functioning forum. Those got blacked out as quickly and without explanation as well... making money is of course ok and reasonable, but it is the manners and the how you do it. I firmly believe that in the end honesty pays off, maybe I’m idealistic :)

And don’t worry this forum is so far funded by a fund raiser among the members a while ago. So far the community works and a group of admins from different backgrounds make sure it doesn’t derail.
Chadrinkincat
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:45 am

TC has turned into a safe haven for spam accounts. RIP teachat
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pedant
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:58 pm

haha. well, even though they kicked some of us out and deleted some worthwhile content, they still continue to host a majority of the old, valuable stuff, and i thank them for that. doing that doesn't cost that much, but it's not free, either.

i personally still sometimes search their site (mostly via google) and treat them as an archive.

but even if TC ever goes offline, don't worry -- it won't all be lost. it's been backed up by me and probably others.
Ethan Kurland
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:35 pm

I have a niece whose career is getting paid to have positive comments made on social media. She set me up on Facebook for my personal account & then for Ethan & Tea. At the time I did not know that she was a manipulater, but I have never posted on FB nor finished arranging the FB business account, for other reasons. (I just don't want to part of something that I believe has done so much to make the world worse & only a little to make it better.)

Though I have never filled an order through FB nor responded to personal messages, I have likes etc. I have also lost a few friends who don't want to communicate through individual emails since enrollment in FB made me able to broadcast & read their info & opinions through their posts.

Very few people want to buy things via more than one step; &, many people don't even want to communicate individually. So FB effects everything, not just Teachat.

Adagio went from being about 100% hands off to totally looking for profit. Why was there no in-between?

Also, I posted on TC a few times that members seemed to go out of their way to avoid Adagio's teas. For flavored black teas & a few things, Adagio is a good source. Yet, when a new member would ask about vendors for flavored black tea, Adagio would not be suggested (except by me who sometimes drinks some of them at a friend's house). That was puzzling.

Anyway, I & others are very grateful to teaforum & sorry that Adagio got rude & greedy. I have not thought about TC for years but this thread is enlightening. Cheers
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OCTO
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:43 pm

pedant wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:58 pm
haha. well, even though they kicked some of us out and deleted some worthwhile content, they still continue to host a majority of the old, valuable stuff, and i thank them for that. doing that doesn't cost that much, but it's not free, either.

i personally still sometimes search their site (mostly via google) and treat them as an archive.

but even if TC ever goes offline, don't worry -- it won't all be lost. it's been backed up by me and probably others.
Yeah... at the very least I can still find my old posts and discussions.... hahahaha...
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Bok
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:25 pm

Speaks volumes how dead that forum has become now, how no one is calling them out on this obvious manipulation... would have been a matter of hours in the old days
John_B
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Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:52 am

It's kind of a different subject, but not completely unrelated, that discussion forums tend to morph on their own, even when they don't tend to come unglued as Tea Chat and Steepster did.

The Reddit r/tea owners tried to steer their group back towards discussion, and away from people just posting photos, without much success. Decent question and answer posts still come up there, and draw decent response, but it's hard to intentionally define or alter the group tone.

I'm an admin for a Facebook tea group and a similar thing came up, scope or theme drift. That group always was a bit vendor oriented (International Tea Talk), but had been working out for decent discussion, then over time vendor posts diluted that out. Setting spam / ad post rules can offset that but it's as if tone develops organically, and shifts on its own.

The lifecycle for IT topic discussion had seemed even more mercurial in the past, when one branch of that seemed relevant to me. There would be one more-active location for discussion, then months later that would go quiet and shift over to somewhere else. An expat oriented forum I was active in evolved to include a stable core group for years, but that kind of thing seems to be an anomaly, and it didn't last.
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lUKAV28
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Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:05 am

John_B wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:52 am
It's kind of a different subject, but not completely unrelated, that discussion forums tend to morph on their own, even when they don't tend to come unglued as Tea Chat and Steepster did.

The Reddit r/tea owners tried to steer their group back towards discussion, and away from people just posting photos, without much success. Decent question and answer posts still come up there, and draw decent response, but it's hard to intentionally define or alter the group tone.
I would say that it is hard to maintain a discussion if users are not as knowledgeable (enough?). I know it is often hard for me as I don't have as much time as I would want to put into tea/clay tasting or reading books, articles, concepts - this doesn't mean I don't put time into all of this.

But a lot of people aren't as serious about tea or are just at the start of their journey. I have a feeling that teachat's knowledge grew with their users' knowledge, their willingness to educate and share the knowledge. With r/tea, I think the user base isn't there just yet.

I am so happy that I've found Teaforum. By accident If I might say when I was purchasing a teapot and the seller linked me this forum. It was such a revelation for me as I was really saddened by the shape of teachat/steepster when I regain my interest in tea. Without asking anything I could find answers to almost every topic I was interested in like water, filtration, clay boilers, pots ... I really like this community and follow it daily.
John_B
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:13 am

Tea Forum definitely works out for what it is, but Facebook groups are a lot more active, and make it easier to share media, and are where people are already posting and checking in. Right now Gong Fu Cha is the best group for more involved discussion there, with the Puerh Tea Club fine for that scope.

It's nice to have a dedicated forum to fill in slightly different context range. Questions and answers or topic posts scroll away within a couple days on Facebook but things can stick around as static content here. Not much does, since the "what (xxx category) are you drinking?" are most active, but exceptions work out.
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